Greek general secretary for migration quits after criticising government

by Reuters
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 17:25 GMT

ATHENS, Sept 13 (Reuters) - A Greek general secretary for migration resigned on Tuesday after telling a radio station the country's migration facilities were failing to effectively address the refugee crisis.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted Odysseas Voudouris' resignation, the premier's office said in a statement without giving further details.

"My resignation is granted, I have informed the prime minister. The reason is I was given a mandate without a subject," Odysseas Voudouris, who was responsible for the reception and identification of migrants, told Vima FM radio earlier.

"Facilities are unregulated. New employees are arriving now...there is noone in charge to tell them what their task is," he said.

Greece was inundated by arrivals of refugees and migrants in 2015, a trend which only stopped after Turkey and the EU sealed a pact to stop the flows in March this year.

However, more than 60,000 people are stranded in Greece in makeshift tent camps or abandoned factories as a result of border shutdowns in the Balkans.

Voudouris, who was being supervised by the country's Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas, also said Norway handles more refugees than Greece but spends less on accommodation.

"The average cost of a refugee in Norway annually is about 12,000 euros. In Greece it is 15,000 euros," Voudouris said. (Reporting by Renee Maltezou and lefteris Papadimas; editing by Susan Thomas)

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